What are your favorite Christmas cookies? The classic ones or the fancy new stuff that pops up each year in magazines or on blogs (like this one here)? ;) I am definitely a fan of the typical cookies and all the Christmas bakes I know since I’m a kid… cinnamon stars, the basic shortbread cookies in many different shapes and of course my all-time favorite: Vanillekipferl (Vanilla Crescents). So good! Today’s “Heidesand” cookies were not on my Christmas cookie list until lately… that’s probably because they are typical in the north of Germany but not so much in the south where I am coming from ;)
Heidesand cookies are d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s! Sweet, a slightly nutty flavor (even though there are have been no nuts involved) and so soft they melt in your mouth. Mmmm… Really good! You may wonder why they have a nutty flavor? Well, that’s because of the browned butter in the dough. I guess you’ve heard of browned butter? You let butter cook for some time until brown spots appear on the bottom of the pot or pan – not sure if it’s from the milk sugar or the protein in the butter, but something gets dark ;) The French call it “beurre noisette” aka. nut butter. You can use it for baking, frying or even plain as a sauce (e.g. for fish). It is something I have in the fridge almost all the time because you can use it in so many ways and makes every dish a bit better ;P
As you can imagine – browning the butter is essential for this bake. Just melting it will give you a completely different result. Preparing the cookies is pretty easy though. They need some time to chill before you can bake them – that’s why the preparing time is quite long ;) But while the dough is chilling, you can sleep or do other things… like working, writing a novel, give birth to a child… just kidding! :P When making these cookies, I recommend preparing twice the amount of dough. When you see the people hovering over them and stuffing their faces with them you will know why twice the amount was a good decision :P
INGREDIENTS / ZUTATEN
6 oz. (170g) butter
6 oz. (170g) sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8.8 oz. (250g) all-purpose flour
1 TL Vanille Extrakt
250g Mehl (Type 550)
DIRECTIONS / ZUBEREITUNG
2. Add the melted butter to a large bowl and mix on high speed until light and fluffy. Add sugar, salt, and vanilla extract and mix in well. Add the flour gradually and fold in – the dough will look and feel like wet sand. Shape the dough into a log and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C). Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and set aside. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it warm up a bit. Cut into (not too thick) slices and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Take out of the oven, transfer to a wire rack and let cool down completely. Store in a tin box.
2. Die geschmolzene Butter in eine große Schüssel geben und hell und luftig aufschlagen. Zucker, Salz und Vanille Extrakt dazugeben und mit aufschlagen, bis sich alles gut verbunden hat. Das Mehl nach und nach dazugeben und unterheben – der Teig wird aussehen und sich anfühlen wie nasser Sand. Den Teig zu einer Rolle formen, in Klarsichtfolie einschlagen und über Nacht in den Kühlschrank legen.
3. Den Backofen auf 170°C (340°F) vorheizen. Ein Backblech mit Backpapier auslegen. Den Teig aus dem Kühlschrank holen und wieder etwas warm werden lassen, dann in Scheiben schneiden und die Scheiben mit etwas Abstand auf das Blech setzen. Für 15-17 Minuten backen. Aus dem Ofen nehmen und auf einem Kuchengitter komplett auskühlen lassen. Am Besten in einer Blechdose lagern.
Here is a version of the recipe you can print easily.
- 170g Butter
- 170g Zucker
- Prise Salz
- 1 TL Vanille Extrakt
- 250g Mehl (Type 550)
- [wc_tab title="English"]
- (25-28 cookies)
- 6 oz. (170g) butter
- 6 oz. (170g) sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 8.8 oz. (250g) all-purpose flour
- Add the butter to a small saucepan and heat up. Let boil (be careful, it will foam up a lot at the beginning) until it starts browning at the bottom of the saucepan and smells like nuts. Remove from the heat and pour into a heatproof bowl. Let cool down for about 50-60 minutes.
- Add the melted butter to a large bowl and mix on high speed until light and fluffy. Add sugar, salt, and vanilla extract and mix in well. Add the flour gradually and fold in – the dough will look and feel like wet sand. Shape the dough into a log and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C). Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and set aside. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it warm up a bit. Cut into (not too thick) slices and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Take out of the oven, transfer to a wire rack and let cool down completely. Store in a tin box.
- Enjoy baking!